A phase I study of etanidazole and radiotherapy in malignant glioma

Nancy E. Riese, Jay S. Loeffler, Patrick Wen, Eben Alexander, Peter Mc L. Black, C. Norman Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine the maximum tolerable total dose (MTD) of etanidazole (ETA) when administered with external beam radiotherapy (XRT) and as a continuous infusion during stereotactic brachytherapy for patients with malignant glioma (anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme or mixed cell tumors). Methods and Materials: Seventy previously untreated patients were entered in a Phase I study. Prior to initiation of treatment, patients were stratified according to whether or not they were candidates for interstitial implantation. The implant patients (IMP, n = 17 pt) received accelerated fractionation XRT 20 Gy BID (6 h apart) to 40 Gy in 2 weeks with ETA 2 gm/m2 × 6 doses, a 2 week break and then interstitial implant to 50 Gy (4-7 days) with a continuous infusion of ETA over 90-96 h. The two sequentially conducted nonimplant arms started with accelerated fractionation XRT 2 Gy BID (6 h apart) to 40 Gy in 2 weeks with ETA 2 gm/m2 × 4-5 doses/week. NonIMP 1 arm (n = 38) received a 2-week break before standard fractionated boost XRT of 20 Gy/day for 2 weeks to a total dose of 60 Gy with ETA. NonIMP 2 arm (n = 14) did not have the 2-week break. All patients had plasma pharmacokinetic monitoring of ETA. Results: The dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) in the IMP group was the cramping/arthralgia syndrome (4) and the cumulative MTD was 26 gm/m2. For both nonIMP 1 and 2 the DLTs were peripheral neuropathy and the cramping-arthralgia syndrome. The MTD for nonIMP 1 was 34 gm/m2 and nonIMP 2, 30 gm/m2. Conclusion: The clinical efficacy and radiation-related toxicity of these regimens are being evaluated. The doses of ETA that can be used with accelerated fractionation and with external beam irradiation plus brachytherapy have been established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-620
Number of pages4
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-nitroimidazole
  • Accelerated fractionation
  • Brachytherapy
  • Brain tumors
  • Etanidazole
  • Radiation sensitizers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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